Belfast Telegraph

Coyle furious over Cahill dismissal

Bolton manager Owen Coyle launched into an angry tirade against Stuart Attwell after the referee's controversial decision to send off Gary Cahill cost his team dearly in Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Tottenham.

With his team already 1-0 down, Coyle watched on in dismay as Attwell showed a straight red card to Cahill for bringing down Scott Parker on the left flank just over the halfway line in the 17th minute. Attwell judged that Cahill had denied a clear goalscoring opportunity even though Bolton had plenty of cover in the box.

"To say I am angry about it is a bit of an understatement," said Coyle.

"I am totally bemused by the decision. Maybe it was a free kick or a yellow card, but not a red.

"If you understand the terminology it has to be a clear goalscoring opportunity. Now Scott Parker is a fantastic player but he took a touch with his left foot, went out to the wing, 50 yards from goal. We had Zat Knight in the middle and other defenders coming back.

"So there was nothing clear on a goalscoring opportunity. I think everyone in the stadium was baffled it was given."

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp agreed with his opposite number, saying: "I thought the sending-off was harsh. I was shocked when they gave him a red card. I was surprised the lad got a red when Scotty was so far away from goal."

The victory saw Tottenham equal their record of six straight wins in the Premier League era. They could have won by six or seven in north London had it not been for some outstanding saves by Jussi Jaaskelainen, and Redknapp admits there is no reason why his team cannot challenge for the title if they keep on playing well.

He said: "It is not impossible for us to win the league, but then again it is not impossible for Arsenal or Liverpool to win the league. There are six teams in it.

"We are in good form. We just have to keep winning, because everyone else up there is bang in form."

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